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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Channel 24 (225 MHz)






California 4, San Francisco 3, Mrs. Mccracken 2, Simon 2, Mirkarimi 2, Us 2, To Do 1, Matt 1, Mr. Simon 1, Mr. Deong 1, Helen Rajeem 1, Willie 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    April 16, 2013
    4:00 - 4:30am PDT  

really have not been invited to the table. and this kind of dialogue is very important. you need to hear what we have to say. and there is a misconception that gps monitoring, who is going to pay for that? the taxpayers or the defendant? generally i hear the models the defendant, does he want to go to work with a leg monitor on his leg or security bond. you are innocent until proven guilty. and the other thing about the pre-trial incarceration figures. they are not there because the family can't release the money. and it's hard to get the numbers, the transparency is not there on pretrial release figures. but these people are in custody and they -- you know i lost my train of thought.
that's a senior moment. i was going to make a good point and i apologize. >> let me go to your neighbor, because i want to actually find out if you are in the minority. mrs. mccracken, does your organization support the election of money bail? or are you focused on other reforms? >> we are focused on other reforms. we advocate for the expansion or the implementation of pretrial services. there is great demand for that across the state of california. the criminal justice institute has been just recently awarded only two counties. technical assistance services in implementing pretrial services. but the demand was from 20 counties to have those services. so there is a great interest from california counties to look
at this deliberate intervention to reapproach the criminal justice system. and san francisco and santa cruc county are examples. and they are both counties that had over-crowded jails. and the administrators made a deliberate attempt such as pre-trial services to change their system. and i think it has allowed san francisco and santa cruz to be ahead of the game. when realignment hits, you are better prepared to manage this increased responsibility. i think there are two case studies that we can look to and look for peer support from our local justice administrators to help other counties implement such services.
>> mr. deong, would you address mr. simon's question of the tool that could have a discriminatory component. >> i want to add in there, thank you, matt, to add to what the district attorney is saying. we are currently evaluating our instrument and the half of dozen factors includes a current charge, felony, and the unemployed, drug abuse and having an opinion case. which i think is perhaps much different than say 10 years ago. and we are validating this information now in terms of comparing it to the mounds of data we have, if anything, any volunteer researchers out there. who want -- it really requires a lot of work and scrutiny.
but i think it echoes what the district attorney is saying. we are mindful of the jails have been disproportionately african-american, hispanic, we are mindful the fact it's been really poor folks we have been dealing with. and it's obviously that our basis, our history is coming from the social service side. but i want to reiterate that those are the factors that the risk assessment tool is starting to look at and zeroing in on pretrial release. >> professor simon, historically ini in california was this a right-to-bail movement at one time? >> i wouldn't call it a movement. bail has existed on the surface. in the 60s and 70s at the time of due process for the prisoners.
and professor foot turned to bail in the 50s. and argued that there was bail in california in the 60s. i can't say there was a grass root movement but when you look at that movement to warehouse people in mental hospitals, and shall initiatives. the state was looking to break down these very discriminatory patterns that focused on certain communities. there is a moment of that. but it was caught up in the fear of crime. i am old enough to remember in the 70s as the homicide rate continued to go up. and something has to be done but we throw it under the bus for risk prevention and poverty is
-- and race are to be changed by proactive measure. >> let me take a question from the audience, professor simon, money system often taps the relatives assets. and then the relatives are motivated to help locate the fugitives. what would motivate them to rat out of fugitives. in other words what the question is getting at, sometimes having to post bail can cause the community around the accused to get involved in their life and take an active role of the charges. or if you have a situation of a
fugitive to get involved? >> i like the idea of community engagement and to lower the risk and that someone can benefit from the system. i would like to see evidence that taking someone's home will incentivize them to help them lock their son up. it might. but it my be incentivize detectives to be defenders but not to tie assets to it. >> i want to address the financial taking of someone's property and that's the norm of the bail industry. that is not, i have been in the system for 41 years and never taken one home. we do rely on our detective skills and our bounty hunter skills to get the defendant and
get them back in custody. that's what we are good at. the involvement of friends and workers and co-workers, all that is used. our risk assessment tool has been very effective. i don't think that creating an atmosphere that will do away with corporate bail is the answer. it's not. we have to work with the pretrial system and law enforcement and judicial system, we are a part of it and i see we will be a part of it for years. >> we got a second question, i am going to ask it. if someone qualifies for release isn't inherently unfair that this person remains incarcerated because of the inability to post bail.
i guess if someone qualifies for release, they don't have to post bail. are there instances where someone -- let me ask it differently. i have been in court where a judge charged them with a crime and could see a release. but maybe other issues going on. maybe barefooted and don't have a place they are living. and maybe get someone like you willie, in your organization involved and supervisor. is that appropriate? or is that violating someone's right not to have the oversight of the court and criminal justice system? will? >> how supervisor retrial came about was really in jail overcrowding. there are cases where, specific cases, getting a homeless
individual. there are a group of case managers called court accountable homeless services. it targets homeless individuals. and mental health cases have been common. traditionally cases that the court is looking for supervision, but again as you might imagine the resources are severely taxed. and during the budget difficulties in the last years, the ability to manage large numbers. we are talking for example, homeless individuals, we see 30 individuals at any one given time. that's the active case load and it's driven by that. >> i have a question from the public defender for the law enforcement officials here. what reforms can you commit to at this point to reduce pretrial
detention population? shall we start with sheriff mirkarimi or the district attorney? >> i will reiterate that the strategy that i think san francisco should seriously consider legislate a new criteria. that's what the penal code has empowered us to do. we could start right away by corralling a number of legislators and city hall to get behind this effort completely. and i suggest budgetary wise pretrial as will represents is not funded enough. frankly. and our ability to i think really discharge in a supervised capacity so there is an
alternative to incarceration is something that the city should put on a higher pecking order. since it costs about $50,000 a year to incarcerate somebody. when i look at the collaborative court models. when we look at the pretrial supervisory models we are talking about here. they are really a fraction of the cost. and i don't think we have that on system down as fluidly we would like, i think many of these are eligible for that program. and that requires pretrial to staff and have expanded population. >> george, we will give you the last word, we are pretty much at our time. >> we are underway, the reality that several of us here are members of the sensoring commission, including our public defender, mrs. mccracken and
sheriff mirkarimi and myself. and this is an effort that started last year, the goal is a two-year process to look for sentencing reform and looking at best practices to determine what is appropriate. and certainly pretrial detention is part of the mix. i go back to what i said earlier, i believe that pretrial custody should be based on appropriate -- and i want to underline appropriate, risk assessment tools. that will be race neutral. that will be gender neutral. that will be socially neutral. but assess risk, risk of violence, risk of not showing up for court. i believe that, that is an achievable goal. and i believe that the sentencing commission is a really good place. we have excellent resources at our disposal. we have a two-year plan.
and we have basically every component of the general system and the community in this process. i hope we will come up with a pretrial releasing process. >> i want to thank all panelists for participating. and thank you all for attending. [applause] i think our public defender will make some closing remarks. >> in closing i want to thank all of you for attending this year's justice summit. as you heard we have many challeng challenges in areas to improve upon. we look for your support. we will continue through this year, and for more information about the gideon case or activities in your area, visit
4:15am and we be posting more information on our website. and ask the public defender through this year. and i want to invite you a special event on may 9, sister helen rajeem will be here, and she's well known and played in deadman walking. that's may 9. i want to thank all volunteers and those who made this event possible. and all of you for attending. thank you and have a good evening.